DAVOS, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 27, 2006–World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders (YGL) today announced "Global Dignity"–a global campaign to defend the right of all human beings to lead a dignified and empowered life through five main principles. A new website with a set of online teaching tools dedicated to the same was also introduced.

The five Global Dignity principles are:      1. Every human being has a right to lead a dignified life.     2. A dignified life means an opportunity to fulfill one's        potential, which is based on having a human level of health        care, education, income and security.     3. Dignity means having the freedom to make decisions on one's        life and to be met with respect for this right.     4. Dignity should be the basic guiding principle for all actions.     5. Ultimately, our own dignity is interdependent with the dignity        of others. 

"It is not enough to merely acknowledge that all human beings have inherent dignity. Our actions must reflect the dignity of others," said HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway.

The campaign, which seeks to create a paradigm shift in thinking, placing dignity as the key element that guides all actions, was put forward by Young Global Leaders HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway; Pekka Himanen, Professor of Philosophy, University of Art and Design Helsinki and Visiting Professor, Oxford University; and "Silver Rights" movement activist and Operation HOPE Founder John Hope Bryant.

"We are not calling for charity; we are calling for justice but even more we are calling for dignity," said Professor Himanen.

The principles were introduced during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2006 where more than over 150 participants quickly signed on to the project including former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari, actor Michael Douglas, musician Peter Gabriel, author of best selling novel ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ Reverend Rick Warren, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leading economic advisor Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.

Her Majesty Rania Al-Abdullah Queen of Jordan, chair of the nomination committee of The Forum of Young Global Leaders stated, "I believe most human beings genuinely want to help others in need. We saw that generous impulse in action after the tsunami one year ago. But, silent tsunamis are sweeping to shore every day in poorer countries – in the form of hunger, homelessness, deprivation and disease. And precisely because the problem of poverty is so vast, it is difficult for an individual to feel he or she can make a difference. How can one person help save 10 million children? It is an overwhelming prospect. Global Dignity aims to address that by educating people about the magnitude and urgency of the problem and inspiring people to believe they can do something about it. Because the truth is, one person can make a difference… by joining his or her strength with others."

Operation HOPE’s international division, HOPE Global Initiatives, serves as a founding partner with Global Dignity.

"HOPE Global Initiatives is proud to promote, advocate, help advance and to partner with Global Dignity", said Bryant. "By formulating a globally shared dream, Global Dignity and HOPE Global Initiatives are perfectly aligned in promoting opportunity around the world, to empower each individual to believe in his or her fundamental right to dignity, respect, and freedom, to make their own decisions in life. I have always said that there is a difference between being broke and being poor. That being broke is an economic condition, but being poor is a depressed condition of the spirit and a disabling frame of mind, and we must vow to never, ever be poor again. This is fundamental to the process of giving oneself dignity."

When signing onto the principles, world renowned activist and honorary board member of Global Dignity Ambassador Andrew Young added, "I am, I think, I care, I do! This is the basic principle of human dignity, which I must share and assure for others, if I am to survive myself."

Global Dignity will continue to develop online teaching tools as well as a series of powerful video interviews with various world leaders as an inspiration for action. To view the five dignity principles set forth by Global Dignity or more information about the Young Global Leaders, please visit the new website at or

The Forum of Young Global Leaders

The Forum of Young Global Leaders is an independent, Geneva, Switzerland-based foundation whose mission is to build a unique, multi-stakeholder community of the world’s most extraordinary leaders under the age of 40 and give them a platform to collaborate and shape best practices for the future of the world. Each year, we identify and mobilize a new group of 200 exceptional men and women in business, politics, academia, the media and civil society from every region in the world. Together, they form a powerful international force for the global common good.

About Global Dignity

Global Dignity is an autonomous, non-profit and non-partisan project linked to the 2020 process of the World Economic Forum’s Forum of Young Global Leaders, where young global leaders from politics, business, academia, and civil society have joined together to work for the improvement of the state of the world and people based on 5 principles of dignity. The Forum of Young Global Leaders group ranges from Presidents of African countries to socially conscientious business leaders such as the founders of Google, from leaders of the most influential civil society movements like Make Poverty History to leading academics and cultural figures of our time; for more information, see or

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